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NOTEBOOK



Published: Mon, February 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NOTEBOOK

From Alltel Stadium

E-A-G-L-E-S: Alltel Stadium looked a little like the Linc on Sunday. Green jerseys everywhere. E-A-G-L-E-S chants early and often. Even some trash talking. All that was missing were the cheesesteaks. It was clear that Eagles fans were well represented at the Super Bowl, visibly and vocally outnumbering fans of the defending champion New England Patriots. "It's about 80-20 Eagles fans," said Kevin Sorin, a 28-year-old construction worker who was born and raised in Philly. Sorin, one of the few fans who paid face value for his $500 tickets in the upper bowl, said history had everything to do with the disparity in attendance. "We're thirsty," he said. "It's been 24 years since we've been in the Super Bowl, and we haven't won it since 1960. The Patriots have been here three times in the last four years. Need not say anymore." Eagles fans were filling up the stadium hours before kickoff, and the seas of green made it look like a regular-season game at Lincoln Financial Field -- affectionately called the Linc. They booed the Patriots loud and gave standing ovations for stars Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens and even injured tight end Chad Lewis, who rode a scooter along the sideline and waved to the crowd. McNabb and Owens also helped incite the crowd by raising their arms up and down. "Let's face it, the Boston Red Sox just won the World Series, the Celtics have more championships than they can count, and the Patriots have won two of the last three," Sorin said. "Our city is dying. We need this to have any hope. This is our one chance to rise up. And if we win, it's going to be insane." Many Philadelphians were so desperate to get to the biggest game in sports that they borrowed against their homes to pay for the tickets -- and then showed up in droves. New England fans noticed, too. "I'm so tired of that Eagles song," said Jeanne Massey, a Patriots season ticket-holder from West Warwick, R.I.

CHARITY EVENT CANCELED: A celebrity-studded Super Bowl charity event sponsored by the NFL Coaches Association flopped when some of the eight restaurants recruited for the bash in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach pulled out for nonpayment. Many of the 1,100 guests didn't learn the event was canceled until they drove up to eateries Friday night about 20 miles south of Jacksonville. Guests paid up to $350 for an evening of dining and entertainment with advertised guests, including the event's honorary chairman and Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, Fox Sports Sunday co-host James Brown, former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett and basketball legends Julius Erving and Artis Gilmore.

STATE LOYALTY: Among those in the crowd was former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk, who grew up in West Chester, Pa., but is a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Furyk, who now lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, arranged for Super Bowl tickets hoping to see the Steelers. He showed up at Alltel Stadium about an hour before kickoff wearing an Eagles cap. He missed the Steelers' Sunday night game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 5 because he played in the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.

FOND FAREWELL? The Eagles brought reserve tight end Jeff Thomason back for Sunday night's game as a replacement for the injuredChad Lewis. Thomason had been out of the NFL for two years, working as a project manager for a construction company when the Eagles called two weeks ago. The 35-year-old Thomason, who won a Super Bowl ring with Green Bay in the 1990s, is fairly confident he was playing his last game. "I don't know if I've got 16 games left in me," Thomason said. "But I know I have one."

Associated Press




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